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COMMENT





Raw: Michaels draws super heat
By NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


Even without Earl Hebner in the fold, Raw from Montreal brings one thing to mind: you screwed Bret. Add in the fact that Shawn Michaels is currently playing the heel in his feud with Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart's recent conversations with Vince McMahon and you can be sure we'll be thinking about that infamous Survivor Series tonight. Let's get to it then - Raw, live from Montreal.

As expected, Michaels is the first person we see tonight, and a chorus of boos rains down on him as he asks, "Who's your daddy, Montreal?" Shawn gives us his own rendition of O Canada with some subtle lyrical changes to dis both Canada and Hogan. The Heartbreak kid says he's all about giving the fans memories, and one of his favorites is, you guessed it, Survivor Series 1997 when he gave Bret Hart his most miserable defeat. Michaels seems almost amused by the "we want Bret" chant that erupts in response. HBK says he'd screw Bret again if he had the chance, and that if Hart had any guts, the Hitman would walk down the aisle, climb into the ring, look him in the eye, etc. The rant is interrupted by Hart's old entrance music, and the fans go nuts anticipating a confrontation. It's not to be, though, as Michaels laughs and asks the crowd if he got their hopes up just a little bit, then goes on to say that they will never hear or see Hart in a WWE ring again. Shawn says the thing that makes all the Canadian fans dislike him is the same thing that drives Hogan nuts: he does what he wants and says what he wants. Hogan's music hits in response, but again it's just HBK having some more fun at the fans' expense. Telling the fans that "you Canucks aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer," Michaels says one reason their heroes aren't here is because their limos don't even arrive at the beginning of the show. He also calls out both Hart and Hogan for judging him when they don't have the moral high ground. Shrugging off one last chant that has to be beeped out on the air because it contains a curse word, Michaels predicts a win at Survivor Series and calls Hogan all talk and no heart. Or Hart. Get it?

Match 1 - The Heart Throbs vs. Big Show

There's really only one way this can end, and it won't be good for Romeo and Antonio. Having no luck with a frontal assault, the Throbs try to work over Show's left knee, and the tactic works... for a minute or so. The giant recovers to hit a double back body drop, then uses a double chokeslam to get a double pin. And remember folks, this is supposed to be one of the top tag teams on Raw right now.

Match 2 - Eugene vs. Rene Dupree - Eugene Invitational

You'd think the Quebec fans might be behind the French Phenom, but it doesn't sound like it. In any case it hardly matters, because Kurt Angle only waits about 10 seconds before he storms into the ring, tosses Dupree out to the floor and goes to town on Eugene. Frothing at the mouth, Angle grabs then mic and says the fans think the whole Eugene Inviational thing is funny, but the joke is over. Kurt vows to beat Eugene's hero Hogan tonight and show the wrestling savant this Sunday why Angle is the most vicious s.o.b. in the WWE.

Lest we forget, tonight is the final of this year's Raw Diva Search, and Coach brings out the remaining three girls. I think Elisabeth has the most potential as someone who might actually get in the ring at some point, but the fans must disagree as she's the one cut in this segment. That leaves just Leyla, a.k.a. Miss Wardrobe Malfunction, and Ashley if you're scoring at home. Or even if you're by yourself, as Keith Olbermann used to say.

A video package takes us back through the Matt Hardy-Lita-Edge affair, pun definitely intended, as we ponder how an angle with so much money written all over it could already be fizzling like this one is. Edge is right about one thing though: this is probably Hardy's best shot to get over. Backstage, Eric Bischoff, Chris Jericho and Carlito are all looking forward to SummerSlam, where Jericho claims he will take John Cena's WWE championship. Of course, Jericho wants to do some damage tonight when he teams wth Carlito against the champ in a handicap match. Bischoff says he even knows how to get Cena booed: the three heels will all be Canadian. Jericho reminds his boss that he is actually Canadian... though he's from Western Canada, and that's a lot different from Montreal. Bischoff tells Carlito he can be from "Southern Canada," and CCC gets in the spirit by saying, "that's cool, eh?" Right on.

Match 3 - Carlito and Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

True to his word, Bischoff comes out waving the maple leaf, thus accomplishing the rare feat of getting Canadians to boo their own flag. Jericho is set to start the match but immediately tags in Carlito, who gets beaten down until Y2J can distract Cena. Carlito has the upper hand for a moment, but a jumping shoulderblock and a back body drop change that, and Cena dishes out clotheslines to both heels before dumping them over the top rope to the floor, the international sign for a commerical break. The champ isn't faring too well when we return, and we learn that it's largely due to Bischoff's interference during the break. Cena manages to reverse Carlito's suplex, but Jericho tags in to rake the eyes and hit a clothesline in the corner. Carlito returns to earn a few near falls, then slows the pace with a reverse chinlock. Carlito hits a spinebuster for two; Jericho scores with a missile dropkick but it's still not enough. Strung out with his head over the bottom rope, Cena suffers the dual indignities of Carlito spitting apple in his face and Bischoff slapping him. Carlito drags him back into the center of the ring and hits a big DDT for another two count, and Jericho hits his running enzuigiri and looks for the Walls of Jericho. The champ manages to use his legs to kick Jericho toward the ropes, where he collides with Carlito in what the ref says is a tag. Cena unloads on Carlito and sees Y2J coming from his blind side, scooping him up in position for the F-U. Carlito attacks again, forcing Cena to dump Jericho over the turnbuckle to the floor. Cena charges into the corner and Carlito tries to leapfrog back over him, but Cena scoops him and nails him with an F-U to get the pinfall. Jericho wastes no time grabbing a steel chair, returning right after the bell to land a wicked chair shot, and the Doctor is out.

Because you demanded it, it's time to reveal the Diva Search winner. Smart money says it will be Leyla, since she seems the most likely to "accidentally" lose her top as a Diva. The drama builds as we look to the Titan Tron, and the winner is... Ashley! I have to say that's a little surprising. What's not surprising is SLAM! Smackdown writer Dale Plummer (taking some time off from his leave of absence) chiming in that he's disappointed that no one ran out and beat the new Diva up. Give it a week or so Dale.

Match 4 - Edge vs. Val Venis

I'd like to say I called this one as soon as Edge was announced for a match. I mean, the show's in Canada, we need a Canadian face who's not in any storylines to job to Edge, it just made sense. Sometimes this stuff just writes itself, which might be why we're in a slump right now. Venis has his moments, even getting a knee up when Edge tries a Spear. He whips Edge of the ropes, but gets nailed coming back by a second Spear. Edge uses his inverted variation of a Sharpshooter (I think he called it the Edgelock back in his face days) to get Venis to tap out. Thanks for being such a good sport Val.

Rob Conway likes the way he looks, and he likes the way Stacy Keibler looks in her super hero outift. Unfortunately, Rob isn't looking to settle down right now. Stacy has a man anyway, and Hurricane drops in to say that chicks dig super heroes, not super zeros. You realize, of course, this means war.

Match 5 - Rob Conway vs. The Hurricane

Conway hits a quick suplex for two, then uses a knee to knock Hurricane out to the floor. He rams the super hero into the restraining wall and takes the fight back inside to hit a running swinging neckbreaker. It's not enough, and Hurricane battles back with a hip toss, a dropkick, a back body drop and a clothesline. But Conway ducks the Shining Wizard and connects with his own move that he calls the Ego Trip. Rob drops a big elbow off the top rope and look at him, he's got himself a victory.

J.R. and The King run down the SummerSlam card, and it's about as good as the WWE can put together given the current state of the business. Take that for what you will. Alas, it is kind of sad that on a card where both title belts and a gold medal are on the line, 50-something Hogan will still be in the main event. Blecch.

Main Event - Kurt Angle vs. Hulk Hogan

Hulk throws right hands right out of the gate, then takes things outside to hurl Angle into the ringpost. Back inside, Angle drops an elbow and stomps away. Kurt hits a back suplex for two and chokes Hogan on the ropes. Hulk fights his way out of a chinlock to apply a sleeper, but Angle suplexes his way out to earn another near fall. The Angle Slam follows, and while Hogan kicks out it does make one think that this is the most punishment Hogan has taken in a long time. Can the old man keep it up? Right on cue, Hogan hulks up, shrugging off Angle's punches. He hits the big boot and looks for the legdrop, but Michaels brings the match to an end by flying in with a jumping forearm shot. HBK nips up and warms the band up for some Sweet Chin Music. But at the last minute, Michaels has an even better idea, knocking Hogan down and locking the Hulkster in Hart's old finisher, the Sharpshooter. That wraps a nice little bow on this broadcast as we say good night from Montreal.


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  • Pre-order Heartbreak & Triumph : The Shawn Michaels Story

    Nick Tylwalk has been a SLAM! Wrestling contributor since 1998, but has never revealed until now that HE is the one who really screwed Bret back in 1997. Discuss this shocking truth at ntylwalk7@yahoo.com.